Bringing Home a Baby

I kept thinking I was prepared for motherhood. After all I have been a nanny since I was 18- kind of the same thing right? Haha…

Bringing Hayden home was a mix of relief, excitement, and nerves. I didn’t get to just buzz in a midwife to check his temperature, or see if that weird spot there was normal. It was about to just be me and Alex and this tiny little baby who was totally dependent on us. Not to mention getting back to our other little guy Murphy after 5 days away in the hospital.

One thing I had not anticipated nearly enough as I should have were the hormones- the crazy cry inducing hormones that make me look like a weirdo when I cried because Alex ate lunch before me. Yeah those kind of nutso hormones. Plus there is the overwhelming knowledge that I am the most important person in this tiny humans life- the feeding machine. It kind of didn’t dawn on me just how often this baby needs to eat. I am the 24/7 drive through now and thats a big responsibility. Plus breastfeeding is not as easy as it may look- plus its a new concept for him too so we needed to get into the “flow” of things pun intended. I cried a lot the first week I will not lie, it was harder than I expected and the perfectionist in me was not getting everything right.

We had only been home for three days when I came down with the dreaded MASTITIS! Fever, chills, and yes a nice blocked milk duct to make me feel horrible. No I had not anticipated this part of the journey either and no one really warned me enough about it- yes I had heard the word and knew the symptoms but I was in agony. My milk supply was greater than the demand and my body is still working that equation out. Thank the Lord for antibiotics! The mastitis fever brought on a lovely bunch of cold sores not to mention the stress brought on the WORST dermatitis I have ever had on my hands. Needless to say my body has been very run down. I am finally feeling more like myself again but it has taken two weeks since the birth of the most handsome little man I have ever laid my eyes on (okay tied with his daddy).

Motherhood is not like nannying- I knew this but now I REALLY REALLY know this. Alex and I are getting the hang of things and have worked out a pretty tight night time routine to maximize sleep for both of us. I could not have gotten through any of this without him holding my hand and trying to laugh at my crazy hormone tears. I have never loved him more.

Now onto little Hayden. He is just doing fabulous- thankfully he cant comment on my nasty looking lips (the worst part of that being I cannot kiss him, so Alex has been doing double the kisses for me), he is a super sleeper and definitely likes to eat. He also loves to just look around and take in his new surrounding with those big eyes, we are still debating if they will be blue or brown by the end of this year. One of his best qualities so far is he is easy to settle (unless there is gas) and he really doesn’t cry unless we are changing him or he is ready to eat. Hayden is gaining weight which makes this mommy very happy because I cant wait to see some chunky legs and cheeks he is now over 6 pounds YIPPE. Murphy has taken to this tiny human too and loves to lick his feet and be very close all the time- sometimes too close. Watching Alex being so taken with Hayden makes my heart swell to abnormal sizes and I can imagine hearts just floating around my head. He is an amazing daddy and so attentive to us both.

I know these newborn days are fleeting and that the lack of sleep will only last for so long- I am doing my best to savor the moments when Hayden is just quietly sleeping on my chest because like anything in life it wont be like this forever. He is so tiny and cute, Alex keeps saying he doesn’t want him to grow, of course I do because I cant wait to see all the milestones he will hit over the next months and years, but it is hard to imagine him not being so itty bitty. Having a child is really the most amazing thing even when everything seems so overwhelming looking down at that adorable face puts everything into perspective. The joy he brings me will always outweigh any of nights when I feel exhausted and frustrated.

Parenthood is going to be such an adventure and I am looking forward to talking about it and being real about the parts that are awesome and the parts that really kind of suck. Right now I am going to go stare at my son for approximately a millions hours and keep letting my love for him and his dad grow and grow because I never knew how much my heart could expand in the span of two weeks.


My Surprise Delivery

When I got pregnant I noticed everyone likes to give you advice and tell you all about their pregnancy and delivery, so I heard A LOT of stories. Here is mine for anyone who wants to know.

From 36 weeks on you go see your Obstetrician once a week until you deliver. So Monday the 13th off I went to see my OB and have him ask the standard questions and head back home with nothing to worry about. We did the usual chat and I mentioned that the swelling in my feet was really bugging me- its so hot in Brisbane right now in Summer and so I equated that and my growing belly to the problem since my blood pressure has been perfect through this pregnancy. Needless to say my huge feet were a little concerning to the doctor so he wanted me to have a blood test done once I left his office. He also checked me out and I was 2cm dilated. Doesn’t mean a whole lot sometimes because you can be 1,2,3 cm dilated for weeks without anything happening. BUT, the doctor said he wanted to schedule an induction date for me on the 27th of Feb just to be safe, he also noted he didn’t think I would actually make it to that point without going into labor naturally.

Smart guy this OB of mine because after getting my blood work done and getting some groceries and settling in for the night I started to have these funny feelings in my back in the middle of the night. I thought it was the run of the mill pregnancy back pain and just shoved it to the back of my brain to complain to Alex about later. The next morning I got up to start making Alex his valentines day dinner (thankfully in our crockpot) and start the day. Every now and then throughout the morning these annoying back pains would get me but they were few and far between. I ended up getting a call from my doctor later in the day letting me know my blood work came back irregular and I was beginning to develop preeclampsia. He wanted to see me on Thursday instead of the next Monday. I think my body knew it was probably time to evict this tiny human before anything worse started to happen.

After lunch those annoying pains started coming around to the front of my tummy and I was like yup Braxton Hicks my body is just doing some practice for the big day which is still 2 weeks away- no big deal. Alex was a smart man though and told me to go ahead and get upstairs to pack my hospital bag so we were ready when I would eventually go into labor. He could see I was getting more uncomfortable but neither of us suspected that I was indeed in labor.

I kept taking warm showers all day to soothe my annoying back which is really helpful and nice if you do realize that you’re in the early stages of labor. I just figured when it came down to it I would definitely know what was going on which I found not to be the case in the end. By about 9/9:30 that night I was really uncomfortable and we started to talk about whether to go to the hospital and just see what was going on. We finally decided to go at 10 and called Bryce (Alex’s brother) to come over and babysit our other little man Murphy while we went to hospital. We both kind of thought they would check me out and send me home.


When they settled me in and asked me about my pain and what else was going on they checked babies heart and took my vitals they did another exam. Surprise I was 4cm dilated. They gave my OB a call to see what he wanted them to do, and after that I was admitted. Contractions were getting closer together all night and I was pretty dang miserable. Tossing and turning in the bed to try and get comfy, taking more warm showers, the whole nine yards but nothing was working. I thought I would try to do my best to labor naturally so I refused the pain meds offered to me left and right. By 5:30am I was 6cm dilated and they moved me to the birthing suite. I was going to have this baby today!!!

I stopped being a superwoman at about this point and was considering my options for pain management. I finally gave into my pain and said give me that ever so enticing epidural. I had been laboring for quite a long time and I was over feeling like my back was going to just finally split in half. Modern medicine people! To quote my husband after the epidural went in around 7am “Abby is a new woman” I was cracking jokes with the midwife and staff and ready to get the show on the road and have this baby. I was 8cm dilated at this point so didn’t have to wait too much longer to meet our son and I was both excited and nervous!

By 10:30 it was go time and I began the hardest bit of this whole thing, PUSHING THAT BABY OUT! It is a surreal experience to go through child birth and I am so glad I got to experience that empowerment of bringing a new life screaming into the world. It was  tough, I wont lie, even with the epidural,  you get exhausted from going through labor then having to push the baby over and over down the birth canal. I had an amazing encouraging husband and midwife that got me through most of it. Thank you Sam! Thank you Alex! When the baby was getting closer to crowning his heart rate dropped so they called my OB to come over and see what was going on. Thankfully little guy recovered and it was really time to get him out. With my obstetrician (ironically enough) Dr. Alex Alexander, and everyone in place I was about to have this baby!

11:41am on February 15, 2017 Hayden Alexander Boukogiannis made his entrance into our lives and we became a mom and dad.  Instantaneous love is the only way to describe it and I cried like a baby- I may have even seen a tear from my very laid back and stoic husband. We were a family. I am tearing up now just remembering that moment. I can hardly put into words our happiness.




Being three weeks early he is small only weighing 5 lbs 12 oz and 18.5 inches long. But he is the cutest peanut baby ever (unbiased opinion of course!). We are still in the hospital as he has some jaundice we are getting under control and hoping to leave tomorrow and start day to day life of having a newborn around the house. No more buzzer to get a midwife to help me, no more room service, and thankfully no more of this tiny hospital room. We can’t wait to bring him home to meet our pup Murphy and get into a routine of no sleep and loving on this amazing gift from God with all our hearts.

Thank you to everyone for the messages-they haven’t gone unnoticed and I will get back to each and every one of them! We appreciate every kind word!

With love,

Alex, Abby, Hayden, and Murphy